Ottawa. I hope you find your time in our city to
be enjoyable and that you find our hospitality warmer
than our weather.
The task before you and your fellow
participants at WHO’s Meeting to develop guidelines for
the implementation of articles 9 and 10 of the FCTC is
challenging and complex. Your deliberations will
be coloured by your knowledge that the consequences of
error are significant, that the policy goals are not yet
well defined, and that there is little scientific or
community consensus on key points.
I hope you will allow us to suggest
that caution should be your guide, and that you should
keep uppermost in your mind the following key points:
Reducing toxic emissions from cigarettes does not
necessarily reduce risk to smokers.
Reducing the risks from smoking requires a reduction in
smoking. Developing methods to test (and later reduce)
attractiveness, addictiveness and palatability of
tobacco products should be a higher priority than
developing methods to test (and potentially reduce)
disease-causing substances in smoke.
Tobacco companies must bear the responsibility for their
products, including the cost of any testing.
Above all, we urge you not to fall
into the trap so cleverly being set by BAT, Altria, and
other tobacco companies.
These companies, and their friends in
some governments and their unwitting accomplices in some
scientific bodies, want the the WHO/FCTC processes to
result in product standards that can be applied
globally. For the tobacco companies, these
guidelines then will be marketed as a WHO “good
housekeeping seal of approval.”
It may well be that you will conclude
that the best course of action to recommend in this
instance is no regulatory or standard-setting action at
all, but continued surveillance, research and
We have taken the liberty of
own analysis, with lessons
learned, based on our decades-long experience in
With best wishes,
Collishaw Cynthia Callard
Research Director Executive Director